March 20, 2024 5 min read

Wondering what is a high THCA percentage on cannabis products? Let's dive into the key facts you need to know about THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid), its significance, effects, consumption methods, and safety considerations.

Table of Contents
What is THCA?
THCA Percentage: What’s Considered High?
Effects and Benefits of High THCA
Side Effects of Products with High THCA Percentage
Consumption Methods for High THCA Products
Legal and Regulatory Considerations
Is THCA Safe?
Conclusion
Where to Buy
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • THCA is the precursor to THC and its percentage in products indicates potency, with higher levels suggesting stronger psychoactive effects.
  • High THCA content in cannabis products shows promise for various therapeutic applications.
  • While generally safe, consumers should be aware of the potential side effects of high-THCA products. 
A close up of cannabis flower, rich in THCA

What is THCA?

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid, is a compound found in raw cannabis plants. It's the precursor to THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in cannabis. THCA doesn't produce the high associated with THC until it's decarboxylated through heat, such as smoking or cooking.

THCA Percentage: What’s Considered High and Why Does It Matter?

THCA levels are measured in cannabis products to indicate potency. Because THCa becomes THC when exposed to heat, this gives us an indication of how potent a strain is, or rather how much Delta-9-THC it will provide when smoked, vaporized, or baked into Delta-9 edibles

Factors like genetics, growing conditions, and harvest time affect THCA levels. Proper labeling ensures consumers know the potency of THCA in the product. So, when you read a cannabis label you may see something similar to the following:

THCA: 19.7%

THC: 0.25%

This essentially translates to a THC content of 20% since THCA will become THC as soon as it is heated. 

So, what's an average or high THCA level, and why do consumers seek products with high THCA percentages? Generally speaking, high THCA content just means more potent psychoactive effects. However, some people experience greater therapeutic potential from THCA-rich cannabis strains, and THC-A may even offer enhanced benefits of its own. 

Effects and Benefits of High THCA

Research suggests that THCA possesses therapeutic properties with potential medical applications. It acts as a neuroprotectant, benefiting conditions like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. Additionally, it may stimulate appetite and slow the proliferation of cancerous cells. Some specific conditions for which THCA shows promise include:

  • Cancer
  • Seizures (including epilepsy)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia

Take a quick look at the available research:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties:THCA has shown anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially be beneficial for various inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
  • Neuroprotective Potential: Some studies indicate that THCA may have neuroprotective properties, potentially aiding conditions like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.
  • Nausea and Appetite:THCA might help in alleviating nausea and stimulating appetite, which could be beneficial for individuals undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.
  • Metabolic Benefits:THCA may help to stimulate metabolism and prevent metabolic disease due to diet-induced obesity. 
  • Anticonvulsant Effects: Some evidence has found THCA to provide anticonvulsant effects in animal seizure models. 

These potential benefits make THCA an area of active research and exploration.

Keep in mind that different products are absorbed differently. Since some require heating (like inhalation methods), you’ll be converting THCA into Delta-9, so you’ll only be able to reap the potential benefits of traditional THC. The same is true when you make your own edibles at home–unless THCA is added after the heating process, it will be converted into Delta-9. Keep this in mind if you want to specifically reap the benefits of THCA. 

A row of rainbow colored gummies in the shape of weed leaves

Side Effects of Products with High THCA Percentage

As with any substance, it's essential to be aware of potential side effects. While THCA is generally considered safe, individuals should be mindful of the following:

  • Digestive Issues:In some cases, consuming large amounts of THCA may cause digestive discomfort or mild nausea.
  • Allergic Reactions:People with cannabis allergies could experience allergic reactions when exposed to THCA, although such cases are rare.
  • Lack of Research: Due to limited research, the long-term or cumulative effects of THCA are not yet fully understood.

Because THCA may potentially induce some of the same side effects of THC, there are other potential THCA side effects you should be aware of:

  • Dry mouth (cottonmouth)
  • Red eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue

It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating THCA into your wellness routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Consumption Methods for High THCA Products

Different consumption methods affect THCA availability and potency. Typically, THCA is found in traditional cannabis flower, and cannabis is smoked, vaporized, or cooked to make edibles. The heat turns THCA into Delta-9-THC so that it produces significant psychoactive and therapeutic effects. 

But what if you want to consume THCA in its natural form? You have a couple of options:

  • Raw Cannabis:Consuming raw cannabis preserves THCA as it hasn't undergone decarboxylation.
  • Juicing and Blending:Juicing cannabis or incorporating it into smoothies can provide THCA without the psychoactive effects.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Are There Limits on THCA Content?

In general, there are no legal limits in place for how much THCA a cannabis strain can contain, but the most potent strains usually max out around 30%. There are limits on how much THC (or THCA) a person can possess at one time, but this varies by state and only applies in states where cannabis is legal for either medical or recreational use. 

There are regulations in place regarding THCA content and labeling. Compliance with testing standards ensures accurate labeling, which makes it easier for consumers to identify the THCA content of a particular product and to abide by THC quantity limits. Understanding these regulations is crucial for both consumers and producers to navigate the legal landscape surrounding cannabis products.

Is THCA Safe? Risks and Precautions Explained

While THCA generally lacks psychoactive effects, consuming large amounts may still lead to mild intoxication. It's essential to consider potential interactions with medications and follow safe usage guidelines, especially when using high-THCA products.

Vida Optima™ Elev8™ Delta 8 Fruit Chews, Tropical Thunder D8 Edibles

Conclusion

A high THCA percentage in cannabis products signifies intense psychoactive effects and potent therapeutic potential. THCA is directly related to Delta-9-THC and falls under the same state regulations, so it’s imperative to be informed of local laws when buying or consuming THCA products. Stay informed, stay safe, and embrace the potential of high THCA cannabis products for your well-being.

Looking for hemp THC that you can buy from your couch? 

Check out our hemp THC collection of vaporizers, edibles, hemp flower, and more. All of our products are third-party tested and 100% Farm Bill compliant, meaning they are legal in the U.S.

Resources

  1. “Anti-Inflammatory Activity in Colon Models Is Derived from D9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid That Interacts with Additional Compounds in Cannabis Extracts” https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/can.2017.0027
  2. “Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a potent PPARγ agonist with neuroprotective activity” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731255/
  3. “Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) reduces adiposity and prevents metabolic disease caused by diet-induced obesity” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31706843/
  4. “Evaluation of the Possible Anticonvulsant Effect of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid in Murine Seizure Models” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8864425/ 

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